We’ve seen a bit of a heritage binge in the watch industry with vintage-inspired replica timepieces becoming a dominant trend throughout the marketplace. You might think the end of this trend is on the horizon, but when you appreciate how deep some manufacturers’ archives are, you start to realise that the fun has only just begun. Longines, for example, is a brand with an immense watchmaking history and a vast catalogue of retired designs ripe for revival. But what can be even more interesting than a 1:1 recreation of a vintage reference is a reinterpretation that leverages the framework of the past, but ushers it into a newer build and aesthetic. Longines has done exactly that with the cheap fake Longines Avigation BigEye Chronograph, blending a historical chronograph reference with an on-trend blue dial and modern titanium case.
The titanium case of the watch is 41 millimetres in diameter, 14.5mm thick and predominantly satin-brushed to give it a more utility-driven finish. The boxed sapphire crystal adds a bit of height to the watch, but contributes really well to the vintage theme. In terms of the water resistance of the case, it is rated to depths up to 30 metres.
The shaded petrol blue dial has a grained texture, and as you reach the edges of the dial the blue begins to fade to black creating a fumé look. Blue was definitely the color of 2020, and the shaded petrol blue tone presents a fresh take on the saturated tone. The colour of the dial makes the reference feel a bit more modern, but the grained texture and “fauxtina” coloured SuperLuminova® work to maintain the vintage feel of the 41 mm copy Longines Avigation BigEye. The registers create a panda-like aesthetic with three black sub dials against the petrol blue backdrop. Each register has a concentric guilloche that introduces even more texture to the dial. From left to right you have a running seconds register, an elapsed hours register (12 hour scale), and an elapsed minutes register (30 minute scale).
The Longines Avigation BigEye is well paired with a brown calf-skin leather strap that allows the watch to firmly situate itself in the sporty elegance category. With a 20mm width, owners will be able to experiment with strap pairings and turn one watch into multiple options.
Inside the Swiss made copy Longines Avigation BigEye Chronograph is the Calibre L688 (ETA A08.L01), an automatic movement that features 54 hours of power reserve and silicon balance-spring for added anti-magnetism. It’s another welcome nod to modernity in a watch that successfully cherry-picks the best of old and new.
Longines Avigation BigEye Chronograph pricing and availability:
The Longines Avigation BigEye Chronograph with shaded petrol blue dial in titanium is available for purchase via Longines authorized dealers and their e-commerce platform. Price: $5,125 AUD